Documentation of deep environments in the Skagerrak by ROV-techniques - fauna and environmental threats

Results of conventional sampling have indicated change and deterioration of deep communities in the northern Skagerrak over the last decades. This project is aimed at assessing the present status of primarily deep rocky-bottom biotopes along the Koster-Väderö and nothern Skagerrak trough, as a basis for future comparison, and to identify possible causes for change, such as changed fishing practises, eutrophication and influence of toxic substances. The possible need for protective measures is evaluated, and biotopes of particular interest or value are mapped with GIS-techniques. The project is also aimed at the development of new photographic and acoustic techniques for surveys and detailed studies of deep benthic communities, as an alternative to conventional destructive sampling techniques.